Here are some quick pointers to help new hams confidently participate in local nets:
is in charge. Think of them as a moderator. They'll take check-ins at
near the start of the net and periodically thereafter. Listen closely
to what Net Control is asking for. Whether it's a SKYWARN
activation or a weekly club net, Net Control will want specific
information from you when you check in. They'll tell you what they're
looking for and in what format.
Check-ins to our weekly
nets are usually a one-turn affair: you check in, and you are called
once for comments. If you wish to make additional comments later,
great! Please wait for the next round of check-ins and ask for a re-check. You don't typically need to check out from one of our weekly nets, but listen for directions from Net Control.
Most weekly nets
prioritize check-ins in at least two groups: mobiles and portables, and
everyone else (general check-ins). The idea is to take calls first
from folks on battery power or who might be at risk of moving out of
range. Mobiles and portables are of course welcome to join with the
general check-ins but would be called a little later in the net.
When checking in, please state if you have traffic for the net. What constitutes traffic?
It depends on the net, but we're not necessarily talking about formal
message traffic (NTS, etc). For a weekly club net, any kind of
announcement of interest to net participants would be considered
traffic. If you have something specific to announce to the participants
of the net, when you check in, indicate "with traffic" or "with an
announcement" or similar. Net Control will often call stations with traffic first so that their announcement can get out early on during the net. Stations who check in with no traffic would
still be called to make other comments when it's their turn. Checking
in with no traffic does not mean you do not want to be called to make
Some stations wish to make their presence known ("get on the list") without being called later for comments. These are called in-and-out
check-ins and they're permitted on the weekly RATS and R1 ARES nets.
Some nets will designate check-in periods specifically for in and out
check-ins. In-and-outs sometimes have their participation noted in the
net logs but should not be called for comments at any point during the
net. Nets on DMR, HF, and on repeaters outside this area, there is
often an initial round of check-ins for short time stations -- those who need to go first due to availability.
When checking in to a net on our analog repeater, key your microphone, announce "this is" and then unkey and listen for
a couple seconds. If you don't hear any signs of other stations the
moment you unkey, continue your check-in: "alpha bravo four charlie
delta echo, mobile, no traffic." Done correctly by all parties this
greatly reduces doubling and tripling during check-ins. (This step is
naturally not required on DMR as long as your admit criteria is set to
"color code free.")
Remember to slow down
a bit during the check-in process so Net Control has a chance to write
down all of your information. Give your call sign phonetically and
slowly when checking in to a net.
From time to time, you may wish to speak directly to another station who is checked in to the net. This is called going direct.
Suppose K4ABC asks a question during his check-in and a few minutes
later it's your turn and you might have an answer but need more
information. When you are called to take your turn for the net, ask Net
Control, "may I go direct with K4ABC?" Net Control will of course say
yes, and then you make your call and converse as you normally would
("K4ABC, this is AB1CDE".) Keep the interaction brief and when you're
done, turn it back over to Net Control.
Identification requirements of FCC 97.119 still apply: you must identify
once every 10 minutes during an ongoing conversation, and at the end of
your conversation. You give your call sign when checking in so that
much is covered, but don't forget to ID at the end of your comments,
before passing it back to net control.
If you are ever unsure about procedures for a net, check in and when it's your turn, ask! Net Control is here to help.
Richmond Amateur Telecommunications Society, Inc. (RATS) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. PO Box 70613, Henrico VA, 23255 Looking for something? Site Map